Image Map

Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween Hazelnut Checkerboard Cake

Happy Halloween from Bake It With Booze!  Hope you're all enjoying the day replete with costumes and candy.  It's going to rain here tonight, so I have no solid prediction on the number of Trick or Treaters...So glad I bought ALL that EXTRA candy since it is a Friday Halloween!  Looks like my freezer will be happy with left overs...Oh, what to do! 

I've thought about this checkerboard patterned cake for a very long time.  I knew I wanted to make it a theme or holiday cake so that I could get creative with the colors.  I wanted a nice white cake recipe and a nice subtle flavor so I used Frangelico instead of the traditional almond flavor.  I knew I only wanted three layers.  I first saw a checkerboard cake at Sprinkle bakes.  It looked so fun, but perhaps a bit more anal retentive than I wanted to take on.  

In the end, it was so much more easy than I had anticipated.  I just had to have a PLAN.  And, like most of life, the 6 Ps prevailed: 

Prior Preparation Prevents Piss-Poor Performance.  

Read that first in a hiking magazine a life time ago.  Still holds true today.  

I simply adore the Italian Meringue Buttercream!  Not as difficult as I had thought, so I was pleased with the results.  Very smooth, yet amazing stable at room temperature.  Perfect for this cake...These Italians Rock!

You can make this cake with no worries!  Have all your ingredients and equipment ready, set aside some time so that you're not rushed, and enjoy what unfolds!

This cake was a huge challenge but one I was so thankful to have accomplished.  Lots of oohs and ahhs from the folks at work, which is always nice.

Happy Halloween!

Pin It

Print Friendly and PDF

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Drunken Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

These are not your grandma's snickerdoodles!  Our cocktail twist on an old fashioned favorite: Drunken Pumpkin Snickerdoodles.  You've seen my "Old Fashioned" Snickerdoodles from a few years ago.  This time around, I used the same vintage cocktail flavors and brought them more modern and swingin' with the addition of that fall baking favorite, Pumpkin.  

Jacqueline shared some snickerdoodles with me last week and I loved how her addition of applesauce made them soft and not thin and crumbly like in some snickerdoodle recipes.  The apple was so subtle, but just a nice nuance.  I have wanted to make a pumpkin version of my "old fashioned" snickerdoodles, so the time was right with the cooler temperatures and the age-old hankerin' for the smell of cinnamon and pumpkin in the kitchen.  

These are light and fluffy and almost cakey.  If you like your snickerdoodles more chewy, you can reduce the number of eggs.  There are lots pumpkin snickerdoodle recipes on the Internet that have no eggs and the result is very chewy.  Also, as these have less cream of tartar than more traditional snickerdoodles, they won't have that distinctive taste...Something for which I was down graded on my entry to last year's state fair.  The judges just didn't get my play on words, either, noting the name "Old Fashioned" meaning my twist on cocktail meets cookie.

A combination that's sure to please both young and young at heart...The addition of the pumpkin makes them almost feel 'healthy,' while the addition of the white chocolate chips makes them a bit more elegant. 

Who doesn't enjoy a good oldie but goody, right?

Pin It

Print Friendly and PDF

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Better than Pina Coladas Cake

Better Than Pina Coladas Cake
Pin It

Last weekend, I visited my sister at school in LA. I'm still having trouble processing the fact that she is a senior, and in the middle of her LAST semester of college - because I feel like that makes me old. I've definitely been feeling old as of late. A couple weeks ago, the perfect storm of work stress, not sleeping, and winter weather combined into an overwhelming maelstrom and prompted me to get online and buy plane tickets. I think it was about 2 a.m. - I realized I really just needed a change of scenery - ASAP! As I clicked through travel blogs, gazing at pictures of palm trees and and singing to myself ("bring me two pina coladas - I want one for each hand. Let's set sail with Captain Morgan, though we'll never leave dry land") my plan came together: I definitely needed a change of scenery, fast. Preferably, beachy scenery accompanied by warmer weather and good company, and what better company than my sister??!

Troubles? I forgot 'em. I buried them in the sand.
We didn't have any pina coladas, but I had a great time touring her campus, seeing her college friends and meeting some new ones (not to mention completely freaking out a few that I'd never met before, who weren't quite sure for a minute which girl was their friend, and which one was the creepy clone/pod person...we kinda look alike), swapping funny stories about dorm life and sleepwalking, enjoying wonderful food, and soaking up sun on the beach. So much better than pina coladas! I think Ellen would agree :-)

Print Friendly and PDF

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Bourbon Butterscotch Cashew Bars {with RaveReviews! Culinary Spirits}

Hello BIWB Posse and welcome back for National Bourbon Heritage Month!  It's been far too long since my last post.  Let's just say, life has been full.  Fuller than full, actually.  Ever had a to-do-list that keeps growing and growing?  Well, welcome to my world.  Great news, though, is that I can see the end in sight.  What better way to celebrate that "end-in-sight feeling" than to make some luscious buttery bourbon bars!  

These bars are so good and not really that sweet, yet very rich and buttery.  I changed up the butterscotch caramel layer by adding a little butter and RaveReview! Bourbon Blend.  Really, a bar that is the perfect combination of browned sugar, bourbon and butter.  Easy to pull together and, because butterscotch chips are used as the base, not as scary a making caramel from scratch.  I love how these bars were soft and not runny, yet held their crust with a good crumb.  All around, a keeper!

Have we talked about RaveReviews! Culinary Spirits...Well, keep reading.  

I found this recipe on a baking blog that, I have to admit, I've rightly obsessed over this year.  The blog is Bake or Break, created by Jennifer in NYC, where everything is so well photographed and baked that I just couldn't stop searching, post-after-post.  I appreciate a baking blog where I know that the recipes will work AND that the finished goodies will be thoroughly baked and NOT RAW.  Jennifer has wonderful recipes and great baking book reviews, so I highly recommend checking out her blog.

A huge THANK YOU to the wonderful folks over at RaveReview! for providing us with a complete sampler pack of their culinary spirits.  After careful research RaveReview! has developed spirits that are formulated just for baking and cooking.  Genius!  We here at BIWB have learned over the last 3 years that baking with booze is not as easy as it might look.  Often times, the alcohol content of a particular spirit is too high for what we'd like to achieve in flavor and texture.  With higher alcohol contents (40% and above), it's super hard to bring out the real flavors of the spirits.  Too little booze often results in no flavor.   Too much booze and the result can be an overpowered boozy finish.  

The way I see it, RaveReview! Culinary Spirits are like the Goldilocks of the Bake It With Booze World: not too boozy, not too weak on flavor, but just right!  We have 3 others culinary blends to give it a go, so you'll be seeing more of these again in the months to come.  

Yes, it tastes as good as it looks.  
Trust me.

Pin It

Print Friendly and PDF

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Dirty Shirley Cupcakes

Hello, my boozey baker friends! How I have missed you, and baking, and blogging. It's been a very long time since I've posted anything on the blog; Ellen has been keeping things going while I've been MIA. The last thing I posted was the Spiced Rum Pumpkin Poppers, last fall. Wow, that feels like forever and a day ago.

I won't go into detail about the reasons for my baking and blogging hiatus, as I don't want to rain doom and gloom all over a post that I intend to be positive and hopeful. I made these cupcakes over a year ago, intending to do a post corresponding with cherry blossom season. But then spring didn't come for me.

Suffice it to say that it was a very, very long, dark winter.

What's the saying - April showers bring May flowers? Well, after a long winter full of showers (thunderstorms, monsoons, hurricanes, maelstroms, etc.), May brought me some good things - especially hope. I'm finally seeing the sunshine breaking through the clouds, and the flowers are starting to bloom. So, while it's not exactly cherry blossom season in California, this seemed an appropriately-timed post.  

Since we're celebrating a belated spring, full of sunshine, cherry blossoms, and hope for new possibilities, let's start with the recipe for the cocktail that inspired these cupcakes, shall we?

Print Friendly and PDF

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Lime Mojito Bars

I know.  You're saying to yourself, "Self.  If only I could eat that screen!"  And, yes.  Believe it or not, these Lime Mojito Bars do taste as good as they look.  Velvety smooth, sweet lime cure nestled on top of a short bread cookie crust.  The colors just pop in this easy lime curd bar based on the traditional summer cocktail, the Mojito.

The Mojito translates to "something a little wet."  It is a traditional highball cocktail, served in a tall cooler with ice.  Cuba is the birthplace of the Mojito, which consists of 5 simple ingredients: white rum, sugar, lime juice, mint and sparkling water.  Sound refreshing doesn't it?  

I've tried to make a Mojito, once.  It didn't go so well.  I'm not sure why, perhaps it was the mint and lime.  I just couldn't wrap my cocktail taste buds around that flavor combination.  I have always imagined it might have gone much better if only I had an authentic muddler, which is used to mash up the mint leaves into the sugar.  

Maybe I need to try this mojito cocktail making one more time as the weather changes from winter to spring...

In the meantime, I can enjoy these luscious and not too sweet Lime Mojito Bars.  There isn't a whole lot of rum coming through in these bars, and the mint is very subtle.  Next time I may experiment with a darker rum or a spiced rum, both of which might allow the rum flavor to come through.  

These Lime Mojito Bars are smooth...Just don't know how else to describe them.  The lime curd is soft yet holds its shape.  An interesting addition to the curd is a wee bit of milk.  I've never seen that in any of the similar lemon bar recipes I have tried over the years.  Might just have to make that a new "secret" ingredient in my favorite lemon bar recipe.

I've had this recipe for Lime Mojito Bars on my BIWB baking bucket list for quite some time.  It really is a great change up to traditional lemon bars that we've all been making for years.  I'm very sure I'll be making these again and sharing them with friends in the years to come.  

Give this one a try as I'm certain you'll be pleasantly surprised!

Pin It

Print Friendly and PDF

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...